My family and I were at Disneyland the week of November 14th – 20th. Through the week, we saw people sitting on the Main Street curb for one to two hours before the parade. While we wanted to see the parade, we didn’t want to spend that much time sitting and not spending the time on attractions. One day while getting our “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” fastpasses at the Guided Tour kiosk, we noticed a flyer about the Holiday Tour. We had always wanted to take a tour but had been unable to justify the cost for four people. While asking questions about the tour, we found out that there was a 20% discount for annual passholders. Yay! Since the tour included reserved seating for the parade, we decided to schedule our tour for Friday the 19th at the 3:00 p.m. time slot.
When we checked in for our tour, we were all given tags to attach to our jackets so that the guide would be able to tell who was part of her group. We were also given headphones to be able to hear the guide better. Unfortunately, it started sprinkling, and the headphones were taken back due to the risk of electrocution. Our family was joined by only 5 other people, and we were really surprised at how small the group was. Each guide can take up to 16 people for this particular tour. Soon we were met by our guide, Valerie. Valerie is such a WONDERFUL guide. She exudes the Disney spirit!
Valerie took us to many places in the park and explained about the decorations and how they were made to fit into the particular area of the park. She told about many different ways that the holidays are celebrated and did it in a way that no one could be offended. We were all impressed by her ability to say “Merry Christmas” in Japanese! After her talk on holiday traditions and decorations, it was time for the attractions. The first up was Haunted Mansion Holiday. My son was in no way interested in going on the Haunted Mansion Holiday, and even though others didn’t understand his fears, Valerie did. She pointed out a bench for me and my son to sit on while waiting for my husband, my daughter, and the others to go on the attraction. The great thing about this tour is that it skipped the lines by going through special entrances or the exits, and we did not have to wait long. After the Haunted Mansion Holiday, we rode the train over to the Toontown train station. At this point, we went on the holiday version of It’s a Small World. My son asked Valerie if she would sit with him on the ride, so she and the kids sat on the front row and counted the Disney characters in the attraction. After It’s a Small World, we were led into Toontown to get our hot chocolate in a holiday mug and gingerbread Mickey cookie before the parade. After we all got our refreshments, we went to our chairs across from It’s a Small World. If you look at my two pictures from the parade, you will be able to see about where we were. Because our group was so small, we all had front row seats. Usually the seats are in two rows. The entire tour was worth the cost, but the best part was the seating for the parade! How wonderful not to have to warm a curb for an hour or two to see the parade. If you ever have the time to take this tour, you will not be disappointed (unless the parade is rained out at the last minute)! If you see Valerie, tell her “Hi” for us!